Business News You Need Today: Aug. 13, 2010


Here's news from the business world and other money matters to watch out for Friday (last updated at 7:09 a.m. Eastern time)


New 'Tech Titans' Emerge: Economic downturns typically breed innovation in the business world. Given the depth of the Great Recession, it's no surprise then that a whole batch of new technology heavyweights have emerged. DailyFinance's Sam Gustin looks at 10 high-tech companies that have the best chance to lead in their respective fields and become household names like pioneering predecessors Yahoo (YHOO), (AMZN), eBay (EBAY) and Google (GOOG).

GM IPO May Be Bumped To Next Week: Thursday's unexpected resignation of General Motors Chief Executive Edward Whitacre may affect the timing of the automaker's much-anticipated initial public offering. Paperwork detailing GM's intention to sell $16 billion in stock was expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as soon as today. But Whitacre's unexpected departure, effective Sept. 1, may push the filing into next week, Reuters reports. The delay would give GM time to note any additional risk factors caused by the sudden change in management.

Rebel Flight Attendant Wants Wings Back: You'd think after Monday's much-publicized meltdown, the last place Steven Slater would want to be is in an airplane. But the renegade JetBlue Airways (JBLU) flight attendant, who became a folk hero after cursing out a customer and then sliding down the jet's emergency chute, wants to return to the skies, according to his lawyer. "His hope is to return to the aviation business," attorney Howard Turman said. But JetBlue says, not so fast. "As of right now, he has been released of duty pending the investigation," said spokesman Mateo Lleras, who declined further comment.

Oracle Sues Google Over Java: In a surprise move, software-maker Oracle (ORCL) has sued Google. The complaint, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Northern California, alleges that the search-engine giant's Android mobile-operating system infringes patents associated with Oracle's Java programming platform. Java is used to write software for devices ranging from smartphones to high-end computer servers. A Google spokesman said the company hadn't yet been served with the lawsuit and couldn't comment further, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook Becomes Billion-Dollar Company: Social-networking phenomenon Facebook may pull in $1.285 billion in revenue this year, according to eMarketer, a digital-research firm. That's roughly double the $650 million in sales the company booked last year. What's more, Facebook's revenue could reach $1.76 billion in 2011. The popular website, which recently surpassed 500 million users, isn't likely to file an IPO before 2012, however.

Judge: Wells Fargo Cheated Customers: Wells Fargo (WFC) has been ordered to refund $203 million to its California customers for ill-gotten overdraft fees. A San Francisco judge found the banking giant manipulated customers' accounts in such a way to enable Wells Fargo to slap consumers with the most overdraft fees possible. The decision came Tuesday in a class-action lawsuit that challenged the bank's overdraft policies. Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, plans to appeal the ruling.

Economy Spurs Less-Tony Knock-Offs: The recession has forced makers of knock-offs of high-end fashion retailers downmarket. The usual victims, Louis Vuitton, Gucci (GUCG), and Coach (COH), are being replaced by less expensive luxury brands such as Samantha Thavasa, Anya Hindmarch, and Kooba, reports Luxist's Rigel Celeste. Smaller labels appeal to the multi-billion knock off industry in part because they're easier to sell online and less likely to trigger lawsuits by designers. At least Martha Stewart (MSO) has little to worry about.